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Behind the Book – Freedom Garvey – photographer of ‘The Garden Wanderer’

Published 12th February, 2016 in Behind the Book

In writing, it’s often said that you live and die by the strength of your characters. Is this true of photography too? Are there certain ways to bring out inherent personality traits when conducting a shoot?

I don’t think I have ever thought about photography in that way. Personally, I would say the strength is in the story. They say that a picture can tell a thousand words, so whether it is a powerful single image or a collection of images…it all comes down to the connection the viewer has with the image and the story they feel that it tells.

One of the techniques that i use when photographing people is known as ‘beloved’. it’s a genre ‘…that celebrates and emphasises the importance of relationship…’. Whether capturing people in love or precious family moments, the technique allows genuine interactions, which in turn allows their personality traits to shine in front of the camera.

You recently took photographs for Margaret River Press’s upcoming book, The Garden Wanderer, with a different kind of brief. Tell me about the project, and how you approached it.

I was thrilled to be a part of The Garden Wanderer! I visited an array of different gardens throughout the region across the seasons, with the main focus being the aspects of the gardens that are highlighted in author Julie Kinney’s writings.

Before photographing each garden I liked to meet the owners first: to hear about the labour of love that their gardens have become for them & appreciate the stories while being shown around. This allowed me to have a deeper appreciation for what I was capturing while hearing first hand all the love that had gone into them. I was also given the creative licence to capture what caught my eye and I really loved wandering through the gardens photographing quiet moments. There were many moments on sunrise, whilst chasing beautiful early light, that i felt very grateful to be a part of this project.

Are there certain golden rules when it comes to nature photographs? Certain things to adhere to, or clichés to avoid?

I am always looking for beautiful soft light, which is found in the early mornings or late afternoons. It allows me to capture the detail & depth within the gardens much better than in brighter conditions.

Talk to me a little bit about photography’s ability to capture a genuine moment. How, as the photographer, are you able to sort the staged from the authentic?

The beloved technique certainly allows authentic moments to be captured. Creating a safe, comfortable space to build a bridge of connection not just between the people in the photos but also between the photographer & those in front of the camera. It is all about evoking feelings, laughter, love & memories, which helps create a photo shoot that is filled with fun and heart warming experiences.

Are you drawn to certain types of occasions as a photographer, or does each have the potential for moments and experiences shared?

I am definitely drawn to connections when photographing, be they the connections between people, the connections in nature, or the connection I feel with what is being captured. There are so many elements of inspiration around us & to be trusted by others to capture a story, a moment or a pinnacle in life through my lens is really such an honour.

Freedom Garvey is passionate about yoga, love, natural light, f2.8, great coffee, barefeet in the sand, laughter, friendship & all the connections in between. She feels blessed to live in Yallingup – known as ‘the place of love.’ She shares her life & works with her husband Damien & their beautiful daughter Lakhari, something she is truly grateful for. As visual storytellers they strive to capture honest connections between people, allowing their images to tell their story. The emotion they observe in genuine moments is what inspires them.

We publish high-end literary fiction, crime and the best short stories currently being written in Australia.

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